Alien: Alexandre O Philippe's Memory - The Origins of Alien: : Egyptian roots of Alien

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Philippe having became more obsessed with the mythological roots of Alien was able to talk to HR Giger's agent, Leslie Barany who was one of his executive producers and the agent of HR Giger, about the Egyptian influence on Giger. 

Leslie was able to point Philippe in the direction of Egyptian mythology, and the influences of Egyptian mythology on Giger, and therefore on the Xenomorph and on Alien.

The subject of the lion goddess Sekhmet finds its way into the film.

Philippe also came by early Alien storyboards in Dan's archives where what the derelict ship appeared to be a pyramid (but nothing of this was shown in the documentary other than the pyramid that was always the pyramid)

He also noticed early Ridley Scott storyboards where the it appeared to him as if the derelict ship were the interior of a temple with Roman-esque columns and a big urn, (but I might just add here if he had been looking at Elliot Scott's early visualisations and this would have been what would be the birth temple interior which had nothing to do with Ridley Scott's vision)

  1. Alexander O Philippe: I started to get really obsessed with the mythological roots of Alien, and talking to Giger’s agent, who is one of our executive producers, about the Egyptian influence on Giger. (https://www.slashfilm.com/alexandre-o-philippe-interview-memory/)
  2. Alexandre O Philippe: And then Les Barany, who’s one of our executive producers and was the agent of H.R. Giger, pointed me in the direction of Egyptian mythology and the influences of Egyptian mythology on Giger and therefore on the xenomorph and on Alien. (http://www.hammertonail.com/interviews/alexandre-philippe/
  3. Nerdist: The film relishes in exploring the mythic roots of the the story, which draws from everything from the Egyptian god Sekhmet to an eight-page EC Comics story, “Seeds of Jupiter” (which featured another chestbursting alien creature way back in 1951). (https://archive.nerdist.com/memory-the-origins-of-alien-sundance-review/
  4. nofilmschool.com: Direct influences on the film were Egyptian mythology, including Sekhmet, the warrior goddess; (https://nofilmschool.com/cinephile-sundance-doc-reveals-how-alien-penetrated-movie-history-and-our-collective-1)
  5. Alexandre O Philippe: Beyond Greek mythology, there's also a strong Egyptian influence,  HR Giger was very strongly influenced by Egyptian mythology visually, and in fact I found some really early storyboards that were pre-Ridley Scott from Dan's archives and you can see that the derelict ship was actually a "pyramid" (?) at the time and so it was meant to be a temple, in fact really early drawings by Ridley Scott, when he was design of concept stage of the film itself, where the derelict was literally a temple, the interior of the derelict looked like you have sort of Roman looking columns and this huge urn, and it looks really like ancient, so it's, it was really a lot of fun to delve into that stuff. ( Monsterpalooza panel for the upcoming documentary “Memory: The Origins of Alien” with director Alexandre O. Philippe https://podcastmacabre.com/2019/04/22/episode-177-xenomorphs-savini-and-bruce-oh-my/ )
  6. ⓢ Addentrandosi nella simbologia del film, qual è il peso della classicità?

    Alexandre O Philippe:Dan O’ Bannon e H. R. Giger erano profondamente affascinati sia dalla cultura classica che dall’Antico Egitto. Se si guardano i primi storyboard il relitto della nave aliena era molto diverso da quanto siamo abituati a vedere. Aveva la forma di una piramide, poi di un tempio classico. Il richiamo all’antichità è rimasto nella versione finale del film, ma sotteso. Anche la mitologia greca ha avuto un’influenza, seppure indiretta. E’ stato il trittico di Francis Bacon Tre studi per figure alla base di una Crocifissione che raffigura le Erinni ad avere ispirato la scena del chestburster. Ridley Scott ha mostrato il dipinto a H. R. Giger perché l’alieno fosse esattamente così.
    (translation:
      Going into the symbolism of the film, what is the weight of classicism?

    Dan O ’Bannon and H. R. Giger were deeply fascinated by both classical culture and Ancient Egypt. If you look at the first storyboards the wreck of the alien ship was very different from what we are used to seeing. It had the shape of a pyramid, then of a classical temple. The reminder of antiquity has remained in the final version of the film, but it underlies it. Even Greek mythology has had an influence, albeit indirect. It was the triptych by Francis Bacon Three studies for figures at the base of a Crucifixion depicting the Erinyes that inspired the chestburster scene. Ridley Scott showed the painting to H. R. Giger why the alien was exactly like that.
    (https://www.rivistastudio.com/alien-ridley-scott/))


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